fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "consignment " (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR TONY LEE" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 09:22:24 -0700
Subject: From Tony Lee 13-03-2009
>From Tony Lee
Firstly, I wish to introduce myself as a sympathizer of your situation.
I am the Comptroller of Fund Movement Terminal and Director of national warehouse where abandoned fund/valuables consignments are dumped. This is to inform you that fresh arrangement was made by me to conclude the shipment of your consignment of funds to your country.
I choose to do this because records on your files shows tha your consignment has packed for seizure due to lack of compliance of the british laid down rules and regulations.
I want to make sure you are ready to work with me, and as well confide in you to make this a success. I found out that this consignment has been lying here due to lack of contact and none payment of delivery cost.
I decided to use my good office as the Delivery/Shipment officer in charge of the National Security warehouse. (This is where all the abandoned consignments in london are kept as instructed by the british Government)
Therefore, this email is highly confidential and top secret.
For this reason,you must not inform anybody about this email or my contact with you. You must keep my relationship with you to be topped secret and highly confidential as I have made all arranged for your consignment to be delivered to you.
CONDITIONS OF THIS DELIVERY
1. You must keep my relationship with you highly secret/confidential.
2. You must not expose all the above information to anybody.
3. You must be willing to act fast on any information and directives given to you.
Be informed that this arrangement is strictly confidential as this consignment/Payment has been surrendered to the British Government for seizure, Hence my involvement.
As soon as I receive your response, further details will be furnished to you accordingly
>From Tony Lee